Radha Blank's Indie ‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ Is The Comedy We Need Right Now
Lena Waithe produced the film about a playwright's venture into the rap scene.
If you’re a little bit burnt out on the classic “pursuing your dreams” movies featuring young, bright-eyed 20-somethings who head to New York City, you’re officially in luck. Lena Waithe's The 40-Year-Old Version, which became a breakout hit earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, is finally going to be widely available on Netflix, and it’s truly the coming-of-age comedy we all need right now.
Produced by Waithe, and written, directed, and starring Radha Blank, the film tells the story of a semi-fictionalized Radha, who plays a struggling playwright in the midst of a gear shift toward pursuing her dreams of becoming a rapper—a tough market for women in general, but especially for women approaching their forties.
Radha is met with resistance and taunts at every turn (and some pretty overt racism), but she decides to go for it anyway, producing her own mixtape “about the 40-year-old woman’s point of view.”
And yes, she raps about dry skin, AARP, and being tired all the time, along with the experience of being a Black woman in America. It’s equal parts hilarious and poignant.
Though real-life Blank is a jack of all trades in the industry, she's best known for her producing and writing credits on She’s Gotta Have It, and her writing work on Empire.
Check out the trailer for The Forty-Year-Old Version below.
The film marks Blank’s directorial debut and her first major acting role, and we can’t wait to see her signature comedic chops in action. She told Variety last year that she wanted to write “a love letter to her great hometown."
“As a native New Yorker raised on cinema, I’ve been waiting my entire life to see someone who looks like me in the center of a classic New York film," she said, per Variety. "And now thanks to the amazing support of Jordan [Fudge, who is financing the film], Lena, and the rest of the talented team of producers, I get to make my dream come true, adding The 40-Year-Old Version, a love letter to my great hometown, to the canon of New York films.”
Released back in January to critical acclaim on the festival circuit, audiences will finally get to enjoy the film when it drops on October 9th on Netflix.